The U.S. State Department is facing a legal challenge from a terrorist group wanting their name removed from the designated Foreign Terrorist Organization blacklist. But, more pressure comes from former U.S. officials, Democrats and Republicans, from Howard Dean to John Bolton, including CIA and FBI directors, many of whom have been paid to speak for the terrorist group. Some are now being investigated by the Treasury Dept. for it. One advocate is Mitt Romney's foreign policy adviser, Mitchell Reiss. They're promoting the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MEK, who want political regime change in Iran, have used violence to get it, killed thousands of Iranians and several Americans, committed human rights violations against their own former members, and enjoyed Saddam Hussein's financing and protection in Iraq. The MEK claims it provided intelligence to the U.S. about Iran's nuclear program.
Who does provide the funding to solicit these prominent American politicians? Some have speaking fees of $40,000 to $100,000.
Two U.S. officials told NBC news in February that Israel's covert ops. service, the Mossad, had trained and paid MEK to car-bomb the Iranian university chemistry professor Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who was a director of Iran's Natanz uranium-enrichment facility. Israel neither denied nor confirmed its involvement in the assassination.
Faced with the MeK's lawsuit against the US State Dept. for listing it on the terror blacklist, this week the State Department told a U.S. Appeals Court not to interfere with who stays on its list of terrorist groups.
We're glad to be with the former Justice Dept. attorney who later wrote the RAND Corporation's report on the MEK, whom he says use cult-like practices and deceptive recruitment and public relations strategies.
Our guest, Jeremiah Goulka, interviewed many former MEK members in Iraq. Working for the RAND Corporation, he researched and wrote about the MeK for RAND's client, the detainee operations command, a task force on Iraq founded after the Abu Ghraib scandal. Before that, he worked in the Bush administration's Justice Dept from 2002-2006, as a trial attorney, in its Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch.
Live interview by John Grebe on "Sounds of Dissent," airing every Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. ET on WZBC 90.3 FM in Greater Boston and streams at wzbc.org.